Are We an Experiment?

My daughter and I were arguing about one of my many questionable parenting choices. 

She snapped at me, “Are we an experiment?”

Like a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar, I responded reflexively, “Of course you aren’t.”

After we’d cooled down, I pondered the question further.

My wife and I used to rely on Thomas Phelan’s 1-2-3 Magic system to bail us out of difficult situations. Then I read the enlightening book, Kids Are Worth It, by parenting expert Barbara Coloroso. I began to question the wisdom of the “quick fix” approach. I try to resolve issues — sometimes successfully, sometimes not — while keeping both my kids’ and my dignity intact.

Author James Clear says, “Successes are revised mistakes.” As parents, we try, succeed, make mistakes, revise and succeed. The cycle is endless. 

It’s not surprising. I took stock of the breadth of my formal training to become a parent — a total of one class. It was a Lamaze-style course to survive the birthing process — a class to help you become a parent, but not a single class to help you learn how to parent. 

It’s like getting a college degree just for showing up.

“Are we an experiment?”

Of course you are.”

It could be no other way. 

It’s that way for all families — even Barbara Coloroso’s.

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